Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Gmail incident

I was meant to pick up my friends, la padrona del sole and the evil cousins, from their university on Friday evening. So I sent an email to her Gmail account asking her when they want to be picked up.

Gmail decided that she was a lady looking for some hank panky and embedded the following sponsored links in the email...

Sponsored Links:
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Evil naughty Gmail...

Monday, December 06, 2004

Say NO to Unicum

That was the sign off message on the email from Aditman on his last email. If you are wondering what Unicum is…it is the most foul smelling and evil tasting liqueur ever brewed on Earth.

The first time I had it was this past Thanksgiving. After a night of drinking out with Zen, Aditman, the Salamander and la padrona del sole, my inebriated state prompted me to down three shots of it with the Salamander who promptly passed out. I was then about to proceed to have an unprecedented fourth shot when the bottle was packed away by Zen and it was suggested that I hit the sack. The taste lingered even the next morning. Only after swallowing some mouthwash (YES, I downed some Listerene) did the foul odor and taste go away.

But then Mohanlal enjoys it. He claims Gulgulu Thithaka Arishtam (an ayurvedic medicine) tastes even worse than Unicum. At least the arishtam cures fistula. I don’t think Unicum has any such properties. Like Zen said, it is the sperm of the devil and Mohanlal is really the anti-Christ.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sonia Gandhi - the new "mother"?

Its late in the day I know, but it pisses me off. Its when I read people still talking about Sonia Gandhi's "selfless" act of giving up the Prime Ministership! To my mind its simple - she chickened out (kudos to her though for positioning the truth so well). Selflessness all balls. Reminds me of the shit I heard right through early years in school, from hindi classes to moral science and civics : "the mother is the most selfless individual". The rationale / meaning of the statement defeated me then and still does.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The magic that was Azhar

Jan 4th 1997

It was another warm lazy day in Chennai and I was contemplating if I should go and attend classes at the esteemed center of learning called Crescent Engineering College. Seeing that a dosage of boredom would do me good after the past few days of fun and frolic, I decided to go.

As I was sitting in the hall wearing my shoes and hurriedly drinking my cup of tea, reflex action cause me to turn on the television. I was greeted with the sight of Mohammed Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar walking into bat. India was touring South Africa and the second test was in progress. We were getting our asses kicked in royal style. They had piled up a huge first inning total and our inning was tottering with no hope in sight. Azhar had retired hurt the previous day after being hit by a nasty bouncer. The papers were awash with stories on how poor Azhar was against the short ball peppered with some nasty comments by the South Africans. So I was curious to see how he would fare today. I decided to watch a couple of overs and then leave. As I watched him take guard the UNIX acronym WTF popped into my head. I noticed that he had changed his side-on stance to almost a chest-on one.
And then the carnage started. What followed was (in my opinion) one of the most violent counter attacks ever witnessed in Test history. It was as if Azhar had plunked an India tri-color in the face of the South African attack and said:

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!

Azhar and Tendulkar tore into attack. They scored over 200 runs in just 40 overs. No bowler was spared. Lance Klusener must be still having nightmares about the beating he took from the two batsmen. I could see that there was a half smile on his face and it looked like his gleaming eyes were saying, “Let them come, there are still two Indian batsmen here who will drink your blood”. But like all good things this partnership too came to an end. No bowler could have could have gotten his wicket that day…he was run out. It does not matter to me that India lost that test. I had seen Azhar and SRT show those men of will, what will really was…
And I never ended up going to college that morning.

But he is also the same man who went from being a magician to a sorcerer in a matter of days when the betting scandal erupted. Why did he do it? Was it just the money, did his wife make him do it or was he innocent? Only God and Azhar know. All I know is that one of the brightest stars of Indian cricket passed into shadow and this poem says it all…

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

Disclaimer: Both the poems are from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

on ethan hawke and lost masculinity..

I watched 'before sunset' too. And I suppose it had the same sort of effect on me. But just in a less poetic way. It made me wonder about ex-girlfriends, and what they mean.. and as Celine said 'each person I loved left me with something, and perhaps a part of me will always love them'. (or words to that effect).. which seems to be a bit of a theme in my life recently. Doing the relationship dance with women when we both know nothing more can come of it.

There is a romantic intensity in the absence of time. I figured that a long time ago, and Mr Linklater figured out a much better way to express it than the above sentence.

But what I'm wondering now is this.. do I function best only in the twilight zone of the 'near relationship'? With ex-girlfriends from the past with whom I spent long perfect evenings.. of the sort that rarely happened in the last year we actually did go out. With attractive women I meet at parties and airports when we're both leaving the country. And people from the past who finally admit to wanting something between us only when its not really feasible..

Which brings me to the next, almost contradictory point.. Why complain about it? I have a dry spell, and then meet interesting women. In and of itself, that should be brilliant. Even my best friend says to me "fuck off and dont expect any sympathy from me". So whats the problem?

The problem is this maladaptive, healthy, wholesome, new-age male bollocks that I can only refer to as the 'post-coital emotional outburst'.. ie I meet someone, we both know it cant go anywhere serious, we enjoy it for what it is, I wake up the next morning and think "hmm... I dont know.. maybe we could make something of it", and spent the next few weeks in a vaguely depressed state of something resembling loss. That sucks. I'm supposed to be the emotionally distant male- incapable of knowing what I feel if it hit me over the head with a spanner. How then did I get transformed from being your average slacking, unemotional guy, to your average slacking guy with frequent PCEO's?

Most of the women I know are actually far more controlled about their emotional states than drivel like cosmo would have the rest of the world believe. And a lot of the guys I know actually suffer the PCEO too. And for all that crap about wanting "a nice guy, who's in touch with his emotions and all that", its the charm of the emotionally distant bastard version of the bloke that many women find strangely attractive. Hell, I've been transformed into an object of lust when I've acted like a bastard.

The moral of the story- the status quo- emotionally distant guys and women who actually like these guys but think otherwise following a short burst of cosmo reading works a lot better than two confused people suffering PCEOs! Go figure.

[Editor's note: the article lost any thread of continuity a long time ago. But seeing how he is a boy of little brain and only about three people read this anyway, we'll just let it slide.]

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


i loved her before sunrise
i loved her before sunset
and then i let her go
so she could love someone else...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Large Corporations: Bad. But what are we going to do about them?

I just got back from seeing The Corporation. It’s a documentary that looks at the birth and growth of the corporation and its effect on society and the environment. Have to say that it is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen and a very scary one at that. Couple of the scenes were very disturbing. Especially the one where a commodities trader said that the first thing that came to his mind on seeing the two towers fall was that the price of gold was going to go up….”Every devastation leads to profit”. Also the fact that Corporations were allowed to be viewed as a legal person came about due to the amendment in the constitution to help black slaves was mind boggling.

The movie got me thinking again about if big corporations are really bad, what can we do to fight them? Should I be even working for one? Many people say that we should start supporting the small corporations out there. But I am not sure that is the right solution. Take Microsoft for example. When they first started as a small company doing contract work for IBM, they poked them in the eye by getting IBM to license their OS rather than selling it to them. I am sure everybody was cheering little Microsoft on as they beat out Big Blue. And look what at Microsoft has become! In recent years there has been a swell of goodwill towards Linux. RedHat is one of the major Linux distributions out there and was once the apple in the eyes of Microsoft haters. Today they are slowly becoming the “Microsoft” in the Linux community.

The other thing is that if you are going to support anyone, it means that you are going to help them to grow. If they grow, there is a good chance that they will become another big bad corporate monster. Or are we going to tell them we will support you only if there is a cap to your growth. That means that you are stifling potential and giving incentive to people to not do their best.

Is there any solution to keeping big companies in check? In some scenarios like operating systems the removal of a monopoly will solve the problem. The companies will keep each other in line. But in others this will not be enough. I don't think that there is an all encompassing solution to this but the bottom line is that I don’t want corporations out there making decisions on what my life and environment should look like.

As I work for a big corporation I felt that it was imperative to ask myself the question because in many situations asking the question is more important than the answer itself.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Kill Bill - The way I want it

If you are one of those who think that Quentin Tarrantino is GOD and can do no wrong, please don't read any further.

I too think he is Godlike director, but with Kill Bill Vol 2 he definitely slipped a notch in my book. I have my reasons. To start off, I LOVED Kill Bill Vol 1. I loved the characters, the music, the fight choreography, the storyline and the little ways Q paid tribute to those legends who walked the roads he is treading on now. I came out of the film with a feeling that I don't think I can describe here. So I watched the film four times in the theatre and then a million times (especially "The man from Okinawa" chapter) on DivX. Then I waited with bated breath for Vol 2. Me and Sambar even joked that the only reason the world did not end after LOTR was because of Vol 2 (I now have other reasons why it should not end now :-) ). Ran to see the movie as soon as it was released...only to be disappointed. I was left with this sense of loss. I felt Q had done great disservice to the memory of Hanzo san and Vol 1. But not knowing how to fix it, I let it go and tried to forget Vol 2.

I was recently talking about Vol 1 with a person (Deb, this one's for you) who had just seen Vol 1 and it struck me as to how Kill Bill could have been salvaged. For starters it should have been made into one big 3.5 hour film. I would leave most of Vol 1 as it is and only take out the "I am Buck and I am here to F***" scene. Moving on to Vol 2. I would strip out most of the film but leave in the "Monk Pai Mei" chapter. The Bride would find Budd in a remorseful state regretting having moved away from Bushido. Knowing that the only way he can redeem himself would be to request the Bride to be his kaishakunin and commit sepukku. Elle Driver walks in as the Bride slices Budd's head off (but leaving it attached to the body with a thin strip of skin as seppuku etiquette demands). They have the cat fight and the Bride leaves Elle blinded. This gives Q, the opportunity to come up with another film, where Elle would become a blind masseur and try to take revenge on the Bride, a la Zatoichi. The Bride would then find out where Bill is from his godfather and then confront Bill. They would be no sappy "why did you try to kill me / do you still love me" dialogue. They would then have a half hour fight on beach at sunset at the end of which the Bride would kill Bill with Pai Mei's Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. While walking the five steps before he dies, Bill tells the Bride, "Our daughter is still alive" and drops dead. The final scene is the Bride driving away with her daughter...

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Dangling conversation

Loacation: Chennai, India
Date: Dec 6th 2002
Scenario: 4 healthy individuals after a healthy dose of Ganga Jamuna (a potent herbal cocktail, best smoked) have transformed themselves into alligators and are lazing in the afternoon heat safe within the room known as Zen's lair.
Characters (in order of appearance): Male - Wenerd KK, Zen / Female: Nuka

Wenerd: What is the bugger saying man?
KK: I am the king of the hill
Zen: Put macha put macha put
Nuka: Shhhhh…
Zen: Who me?
KK: Up yours
Wenerd: Bugger Zen is singing man
KK: Nee guddalu yenugu madda
Nuka: All g**** men are chuths as they are horny
KK: Cool babe
KK: Remember in Ooty da…
Wenerd: Ya man

Zen tells a joke
KK tells a joke
Zen tells one more (Wenerd says he has heard this one)

Nuka: Women might talk about sex in conversation
Zen: I once kissed girl who tasted like an ashtray
Zen: Wenerd I am sure girls might be passively getting stoned when they kiss you?
Wenerd: I don’t know man
KK: Zen you are a f*****

Zen calls AB a monkey man for reasons unexplained

KK: I quite personally think it’s unfair to talk about people when they are nt around. dont you think so?
Wenerd: It's called bitching and it happens all the time.

Zen states that he was quoting the lyrics to a song, which was promptly and evilly interpreted by Wenerd and KK.

KK claims he can speak the best mallu in the laire.
Zen: Bollocks, whats mallu for a light switch?
KK: Vaidyuta gamana nirgamana niyantrana yantram
Wenerd: What's rape in mallu?
KK: Balalsangham
Gets everyone excited by this revelation.

Zen stares at the geiss visualisation on the computer screen and discovers that Bill Gates has to be a stoner too.

Zen abuses Wenerd for no reason.
Clearly Zen emerges as the evil one.
And Wenerd emerges as a psychotic despotic maniac.

Zen is singing Neil D stoned
Zen continues to talk trash about AB. See what I am telling you…

Now KK, Nuka and Zen are talking about 'Tweeter and the monkey man'. There goes Zen again.

Nuka amuses the gathering with wild stories of Vellore. The swapping couples and then eventually marriage type of thing.

KK and Zen disagree with Nuka on love matters.

KK: Let’s go man.
Wenerd: Ya

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Are you a slacker or a workaholic? Soon you might not have a choice...

Slashdot Gene Therapy Turns Slackers Into Workaholics

The corporate world would love to have this become a drug and come out into the market. I can envision a sign saying "All employees are ordered to eat breakfast before they begin work". But maybe this would be a good thing as people claim that work is rewarding. So a nation of workaholics would be a happy nation? But then all people would have to be in the situation I am in where they are paying me money to do things I would have done anyway i.e. code my ass off (Hmm have not done that in a while. Maybe I am procrastinating too much) :-) Will this help people who hate their job and are only doing it because it pays the bills?

I personally think it is good for people like me and Sambar, should be given a choice to take a drug like this as we genuinely enjoy our jobs. Then give people like M***** S******* and ****M**ya large doses of whatever will make them procrastinate and boy will be get some useful work done.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Was I in any danger?

For the first time in my life, I went to watch a movie alone and felt threatened in the theatre. I have felt threatened a few times in my life. During the early days of ragging in my undergraduate college back home. While waiting for subway late at night in North Philly. But those instances were in places and scenarios where something nasty could have happened. But here I was in a theatre in American suburbia feeling jumpy but too proud to just get up and leave.

The movie in I was watching was Fahrenheit 911. I entered the theatre and proceeded to sit down couple of seats away from a couple. I felt them glancing my way, giggling and doing things couple do. Oh well, I did have my Unisys ID badge flapping about.

The movie started and I was totally engrossed in it, until it came to a scene where some moron on screen was expounding about how anyone could be a terrorist. The girl sitting near me turned to her boyfriend and "whispered" could even be him...meaning me. And then for no real reason I felt a chill go up my spine. A sudden irrational fear. I watched the rest of the movie with a vague feeling in the pit of my stomach. I kept thinking of bizarre scenarios where the boyfriend would call the FBI on me or would try to beat me up with his buddies. (Ha, I would have unleashed my Suio ryu techniques on them). I know this could have well been my overactive imagination but one has to think of what if the situation was a little different. In a bar late at night with the majority of the populace being drunk, can I be sure of rational behavior towards one who looks middle eastern?

It is sad that just because I have a French beard and look middle eastern I could be suspected of being a terrorist. I felt I needed some sign on me to show that I am a good Hindu boy from India and cannot be suspected of being a terrorist. Then I realized I am falling into a trap. I know of so many Muslims who are good friends of mine. Does this mean that it is ok to suspect them of being terrorists? So my idea of a sign should be trashed. (Though I think it is a good idea that woman who are not single to wear a special "something" so that we poor single suckers don't have to waste time chatting them up for a date. Of course the same goes for men too, that is if more women forget the "women should not ask men out" rule.)

I was about to write this off as American ignorance when I realized that even I come up with irrational conclusions like that couple next to me. I have a friend who says that for every Hindu death because of terrorist attacks, a random Muslim should die. I have another friend who thinks that carpet bombing the Arabs would be a good idea. Though he is a mallu he has forgotten that a number of his fellow mallus are in the Gulf. So if my fellow country men can come up with such krap, why shouldn't I give the Americans some leeway? It is after all I, on my own free will, who decided to come to the USA. But then there is a part of me that thinks that I should exercise the same free will and go back to where my people are dancing on the Other Wind.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

post dinner party

to do a first blog in a drunken haze is something i'll probably live to regret. but seeing as i'm in a state of flux where nothing much is happening, i have nothing much to report.
(is this blog just to you guys or to the world at large?)

so i just got back from dinner at a friend's place, and met up with someone i've met many times before. but tonight felt very different.
for a start, we were both now single.
we caught up. talked about our lives, past loves, present thoughts, future plans.
she played with her hair.
i watched her eyes.
we held each others gaze for ever so much longer than necessary.
we held hands.
and i pushed away the strands of hair from her eyes.
and she watched my lips as i spoke.

but she's 'maybe seeing someone new'.
and i'm 'maybe not ready for anything new'.

and now i'm home.
and she's in bed.. elsewhere.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Mary Chapin Carpenter concert rant

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother going to concerts. The artists never play the song I want (Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina, Rush - Subdivisions, PPM - In the early morning rain). I bet Knopfler will not play "Hand in hand" or "Silvertown" in his 2005 tour.  Not my fault if I always like the offbeat numbers.I wanted to hear Ms. Carpenter play "John Doe #24"...never happened. I even screamed out the name of the song during a moment of silence in between songs. Mary never heard me, but I did get dirty looks from the rows near where I was sitting. One lady behind me mumbled, "She never did that song". Challenged her to a $20 bet. For some reason she thought I was rude. Her husband asked her to put up or shut up. She promptly stalked out of the theater. The husband whom I think was fat wanted more space and boy did he get it.

BTW, I was at this concert alone. Thanks to my friend Sambar42, who decided that he needed to swing a sharp sword at other peoples throat rather than listen to music. "You know, pa, these days youngsters have no culture. All kattans". Yes, yes, he is a ninja for hire.  But thanks to him I had ample space for my wide bottom. The lights went out and as I was settling in, I saw two women being ushered into the seats next to mine. One resembled a babe like shape in the dim torchlight of the usher. I then proceeded to try and check  her out in the dull light provided by the exit sign. WTF, I see hair on arms. Hair on face. I then said "Oh shite" in my mind just like Suresh Gopi in Commissioner. So I immediately tell her "Madam, please use this seat to keep your coat, your purse and your razor" and I jump to next one.
The concert after this was brilliant, if you can ignore the idiot who showed up to open for her. Some dick head who thought he was God's gift to Nashville. Oh Mary, what happened to your anti-Nashville stand. Thank god she played "Stones in the road". Brought back high school memories and of the movie "Bye, bye love". Randy Quaid's "destroying the porch" scene is just classic. Very much along the lines of Pacino in Heat...."You can sit on my couch, sleep with my wife but you can't watch my f***king TV". To my surprise she even belted out "The bug" which to date I thought was a Dire Straits song. Looks like it is an age old country hit. She had me mesmerized for the rest of the concert. I think her new album is a must buy. Sound like it will be as folksy as her '94 album. 
I never know how to end stuff, (which is why I prefer programming as you can always end with a } and never go wrong) . With that folks, I am signing off from my first blog.